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Sylvari and Empathy - how do you roleplay it?


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One of the most fun things I really have been enjoying when roleplaying Sylvari is to RP out the connection that Sylvari have with each other. They talk about this a lot in the Grove, feeling someone's grief or anger from across different areas.

I know friends who sometimes will use music. Some of us will use metaphors for feelings. My character's an elementalist, so I often go for fire or elemental metaphors if I can. 

How do other people incorporate this into their roleplay? Do you use certain descriptors? Let's talk about Empathy here!

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I am a visual/audio person. I also consider themes greatly when I make certain choices for characters, and Sylvari empathy is no different. Currently I have 4 Sylvari. Here's what I have for two of them.

 

Ardan is incredibly energetic and optimistic. He is a representative of the Order of the Crystal Bloom and the Order of the Whispers. Though he is Soundless, I RP it that despite his meditations, his overwhelming energy and feelings sometimes spill over; the meditations basically just hold his feelings back. I equate his empathy with water, specifically the ocean. His feelings, like the ocean, are vast, deep, and a powerful force. Like the tide, they can roll in, swallow everything around it and carrying things away, or recede at low tide, shying away from shore. However no matter what, when you look at the whole picture, there tends to be equilibrium.

 

This strongly reflects how he is as a person: someone who certainly lets his positive shine and may even be infectious, however he does have a secretive and even shy side. High tide. Low tide. Light, and dark. Bloom, and Whispers.

 

Oenwyr is a Vigil Soldier and once served as a Pact soldier on the Pact ships that fell in Maguuma when Mordremoth struck. His colors are silver and light blue. He was stationed in the Shiverpeaks prior to the campaign, and to this day still calls the Shiverpeaks mountain his home. He still has severe PTSD from the Jungle and struggles on a daily basis with this. His empathy, I admit is unusual and not something I would normally pick. However when I think how it applies to this character, it just feels right. 

 

It is akin to the weather near a mountain. The mountain itself represents himself, and how he has a solid idea of who he is and what he is. When he is calm, the mists roll in on a quiet day, and he is still. When he is angry, storms rage across the mountain and into the valley below, delivering terrible thunderstorms that frighten wildlife. When he is sad, heavy rainfall arrives, threatening to drown everything. I feel like it is this way because small changes in weather isn't really enough to affect his stoic nature, and typically he can control or even let slide a multitude of things. However when things get really bad - a high energy of emotions - this is when he becomes at his most dangerous state: a force of nature with the determination and strength of a mountain.

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I have many a Sylvari, and I personally go for a mixture of styles, based off the personality. Currently will offer up my main 3 Sylvari!

Melvyn of Dusk, my eldest in terms of IC age I liken his empathy to waters. Using ripples to express whatever his mood is, still waters are calm, raging waves is anger, and so forth. I find it fitting of a 29 year old Sylvari who's seen Tyria far and wide. Oftentimes he is very calm, so finding his empathy in a stormy feeling is rare.

 

Alani Pineheart, one of my youngest sylvari, her empathy is liken unto songs given her very cheerful and childlike manners at times. If she is happy it is like a sweetly sung melody, howbeit if she is sad, her empathy is a low and somber tone that is very softly heard. If she is upset, her empathy takes on a much more harsh tone of music with sharper hits to the 'notes'.

 

Alanin Oakheart, this guy, I have real fun with writing. Ever since the Solitary Sylvari showed up in the Labyrinth Cliffs, it helped me better grasp the personality and effects of a Sylvari who broke free of Mordremoth's will. His empathy has been marred by the Dragon's Will, though it is still one tied to The Dream of Dreams, there is a static like 'buzz' to it that sets him apart. The calmer he is the less loud that static is, however when he is enraged, the static will go wild and sound very chaotic and would be painful for other Sylvari nearby as his power to relapse back into Mordremoth's echo is directly tied to his control of his temper. 

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